Positive Results From New Mesothelioma Drug Trial Announced at Oncology Conference

Massachusetts-based biopharmaceutical company RS Oncology used the opportunity of the 2024 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting to announce positive data from a Phase 1 clinical trial of RSO-021, its first-in-class therapeutic for malignant pleural mesothelioma. 

clinical trial

Drug Aims at Causing Death of Cell That Allows Mesothelioma Spread

Relying on the knowledge that mesothelioma’s metastasis and drug resistance is enabled by epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), the researchers at RSOncology are targeting EMT through its reliance on the buffering of mitochondrial oxidative stress through the expression and activity of mitochondrial peroxiredoxin 3 (PRX3). RSO-021 is a naturally occurring, sulfur-rich, cyclic oligopeptide that inactivates PRX3 leading to catastrophic oxidative stress and cell death. 

Speaking at the ASCO meeting, principal investigator Professor Dean Fennell announced that the Phase 1 MITOPE clinical study of the mesothelioma drug demonstrated a long-term partial response in one of the 15 recruited mesothelioma patients and encouraging survival in 7 of the 10 evaluable patients. The drug also delivered promising responses in non-target lesions and other cancers with metastatic disease to the lung. 

Drug Investigator Says Mesothelioma Was Well Tolerated

The investigators reported that the mesothelioma drug was well tolerated at 90 mg, with minimal systemic exposure after intrapleural administration. The Phase 1 clinical trial represented a first-in-human study of a first-in-class anti-cancer mechanism. Phase 2 is ongoing at two doses, as a single agent and in combination with chemotherapy.

Speaking of the results of the mesothelioma trial, Chief Science Officer for RS Oncology Brian Cuniff, PhD said, “The safety and efficacy observed in the Phase 1 trial is supported by strong pre-clinical rationale.” His words were backed up by RS Oncology’s Chief Operations Officer George Naumov, PhD, who said, “The MITOPE trial would not have been possible without the support of the outstanding investigation teams throughout the UK who are dedicated to the treatment of patients with mesothelioma. We thank all of the MITOPE trial participants and their supportive families and look forward to hearing about their continued benefit.

If you or someone you love has been impacted by malignant mesothelioma, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608 to learn more.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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